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Footballer heads to Buckingham Palace for the FA Grassroots Heroes Awards
A KEEN footballer who has travelled the world to promote the sport will visit Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations for the FA’s 150th anniversary.
Hannah Marshall, 21, is one of 150 Grassroots Heroes nominated by the FA for their work to support and develop football in their local communities who attend a reception hosted by Prince William.
Miss Marshall, who plays as a central midfielder for Newcastle United Women’s Football Club and for Northumbria University’s ladies team, began playing football as a small child and became involved in coaching and development while at college.
As well as her coaching work in Darlington, her hometown, and in Newcastle, where she attended Northumbria University, Miss Marshall also volunteered as a Gamesmaker for the London Olympics and has recently returned from Zambia, where she used football to support orphans.
She also became involved with the FA Football Futures programme and hopes to continue as a coach and work in football development, which supports education and community projects through the game.
She said: “I started playing football as soon as I could walk and I’ve played my whole life. I started playing for Spraire Lasses when I was about ten and that was where I started out as a coach too. “I love football, it’s given me so many opportunities and I’ve travelled the world.
“You can play football anywhere in the world – it’s like a language in itself. Through football you can do a lot of positive things, especially with kids and in the community.
“The more I get into it the more I love it.”
Miss Marshall will travel to London with her mother, Anne. She described the invitation as ‘incredible’ and added: “I don’t know what to expect, but I know I’ll always remember it.”
The event at Buckingham Palace will be hosted by Prince William, the President of the FA, and will feature a match between the two oldest amateur teams in England, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC.
Each of the 150 grassroots volunteers will be presented with a medal to honour their commitment to the game.
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